SPARK Forum 2013


Sunday, November 3, 2013

9:00 am Golf Tournament

1:00 – 6:00 pm Exhibitor Setup

1:00 – 8:00 pm Conference Registration –

6:00 – 8:00 pm Welcome Reception with Exhibitors –

8:15 – 11:00 pm Meet and Greet with Abby Wambach, accompanied by Cocktails and Dinner –

Monday, November 4, 2013

7:00 am – 7:00 pm Conference Registration

7:00 – 8:00 am Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors –

8:00 – 8:15 am Welcome, Opening Remarks & SPARK Advisor Award Announcements

Joe Ready, Executive Vice President and Director, Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust and President, SPARK Institute

8:15 – 9:15 am The Road Ahead

Cynthia Hayes, President, Oculus Partners, LLC

There’s no denying that these are turbulent times for the retirement industry. Perhaps now more than ever it is time to aggressively address how our industry helps Americans retire successfully. Cynthia will discuss how retirement providers can position their firms and their products for near and long term success.

9:20 – 9:50 am Break with Exhibitors –

10:00 – 11:00 am BREAKOUT SESSIONS

SESSION A – Market Trends to Business Behaviors. Is Your Organization Prepared?

Barbara March, CEO, BridgePoint Group, LLC

As a leader within the retirement industry, you actively work to keep abreast of industry trends. You are likely overloaded with information as you attend conferences, read industry news and market research reports, and network with your peers. How do you synthesize it all to determine what trends are most important and relevant for your business? How do you effectively turn the insight into action, and ensure that your organization is positioned well for the future? Join Barbara March, President of BridgePoint Group, LLC, for a perspective on the five key trends that retirement providers are focusing on to thrive in the coming years.

SESSION B – Walking a Mile in Your Customers’ Shoes: What Your Customers Expect From You

Dan Rosshirt, Principal, Deloitte Consulting
Sean Cunniff, Research Leader, Deloitte Center for Financial Services

Dan Rosshirt and Sean Cunniff will present wide ranging findings from several Deloitte surveys and discuss their implications for creating a more effective experience for your customers. Find out which types of institutions customers find most (and least) trustworthy and how important they find financial advisors. Other topics will range from customer attitudes regarding saving, investing and retirement income planning. They will also review the effectiveness of financial advertising, which types of firm are likely to win the rollover battle, and how financial consumers are using mobile devices. Attend this session to find out what your customers are thinking and what you can do about it.

SESSION C – Making Plan Administrators’ Lives Easier and Enhancing Customer Engagement Through New Generation Technologies

David Armistead, Vice President, Congruent Solutions, Inc.

This session will explore challenges for plan administrators with legacy technology platforms. It will also look at strategies for addressing these challenges with new technology solutions. In addition, it will explore how new technologies can be leveraged to enhance customer engagements and what that means for your retirement business, while making the administrators’ operations easier, intuitive and more efficient.

11:05 – 11:55 am Investing in a World of More Balance

David Kelly, Managing Director, Chief Global Strategist, J.P. Morgan Funds

Dr. Kelly will outline the serious risks from Washington gridlock and how compromise could pave the way for faster economic growth. He will address other market issues including why stocks still look attractive in relative terms, despite current high valuations; why Fed tapering has only been postponed, not cancelled; and why investors need to allocate more carefully within asset classes and diversify more broadly across asset classes.

12:00 – 1:00 pmLunch –

1:05 – 1:55 pm Making Sense of the Income Space

Marc Pester, Senior Vice President, Prudential Retirement

In this session, the different types of income solutions that exist for institutional retirement plan programs will be benchmarked, reviewing the income solution with the highest traction. From this session, you will gain an understanding of the record keeping implementation challenge and middle ware solution, while at the same time considering participant behavioral considerations and the participant experience.

2:00 – 2:30 pm Break with Exhibitors –

2:35 – 3:25 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS

SESSION A – Service Delivery Excellence: Lessons from Product Leaders Who Are Changing the Game

Lisa Weil, Vice President, ProcessUnity (Moderator)
Eric Levy, Senior Vice President, Lincoln Financial Group
Teresa Dennehy, Managing Director, TIAA-CREF
Christine Skatchke, Vice President, Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement & Trust

Record keepers are adapting business models to address increased pressures on already razor-thin margins. Today’s challenges cannot be addressed with yesterday’s solutions, and leading companies are migrating to new concepts in product management and service delivery. This session will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn from industry product leaders on how they are driving strategic change across their organizations.

SESSION B – Engaging the Plan Participant in the Digital Age

Larry McQuaid, Chief Revenue Officer, Wealth Management Systems Inc. (moderator)
Jason Frain, Vice President, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
Alicia Hartjen, Vice President, Product Development, Wealth Management Systems Inc.
Jessie Waller, Director, Ameritas Life Insurance Corp.

Today’s plan participant is a far cry from the plan participant of just a decade ago. A new generation of employees demands instant, targeted communications accessible through multiple digital devices. They want tools and education to help them decide how much to contribute and how to invest. They also expect ready access to plan data and simple, personalized resources tailored to their specific needs. This session will explore how plan sponsors and providers are responding to these challenges, examining best practices and how the participant communication landscape continues to evolve in the face of rapid technological and demographic change.

SESSION C – The Executive Dilemma: Executing on Data Intelligence in a Cost-Conscious Environment

Jeremy Ross, Executive Vice President, Brightscope, Inc.

There’s no shortage of hype surrounding “big data.” With unprecedented access to vast and varying streams of information, executives must grapple with and respond to a host of critical new business challenges. How do you reduce the resource strain of standardizing diverse business intelligence? How can you transform the way your business manages internal data to support both executive and field-level decisions? What are the advantages and disadvantages of managing internal data with external resources?

This session sets out to begin unlocking the answers to these questions, and others like them. From nurturing the natural partnership between record keepers, DCIOs, and broker-dealers to collaborating on new standards for record keeper sales reporting, industry leaders will be in attendance to discuss innovative solutions to complex and evolving leadership challenges.

3:30 – 4:30 pm Poison Pills, Pandas and Paralysis: A Retirement Policy Update from Washington

Derek Dorn, Davis & Harman LLP

In this session, Washington insider Derek Dorn will review and analyze the current legislative environment for retirement service providers. Derek will set the stage by considering the recent fiscal showdown and then discuss how tax reform has been developing. He will then examine retirement-focused bills that have been introduced in Congress and assess prospects for advancement in today’s challenging political climate.

5:00 – 7:00 pm Reception with Exhibitors –

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

7:00 – 8:00 am Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors –

8:00 – 9:00 am Washington Regulatory Update

Steve Saxon, Chairman, Groom Law Group

This session will focus on major regulatory issues affecting 401(k) and other individual account retirement plans. In particular, Steve will discuss the DOL Advisory Opinion on revenue sharing and ERISA budget accounts, fiduciary regulations and class exemptions, and regulations related to guaranteed income illustrations. He also will provide an update on 401(k) fee litigation and review managed account issues.

9:05 – 9:55 am BREAKOUT SESSIONS

SESSION A – Bridging the Gap between 401(k) Sponsors and their Participants – Turning Differing Views about Retirement Planning into Shared Solutions

Ben Sheppard, Vice President, Plan Sponsor Services, Charles Schwab (Moderator)
Steve Smalley, Managing Director, Client Experience, Charles Schwab

For 30 years, 401(k) plan sponsors have been working hard to help employees be financially prepared for retirement. However, today’s reality is that most participants are falling short of the savings they’ll need to retire comfortably. Now two studies reveal a gap between sponsor and participant approaches to retirement planning – plus some practical insights on creating a shared solution.

SESSION B – Ensuring Quality Services through People Management

William Byerly, Senior Vice President, SunGard – Wealth and Retirement Administration

While the ideal of quality is somewhat conceptual, one thing is certain; everyone expects quality to improve over time. We all strive to see improvements in the business areas around People, Processes and Technology. In this session, we will focus on the People component. In a business where tedious tasks can become monotonous, how do you motivate your employees? How do you get them to evolve and be engaged; and most importantly, how do you get them to do their job effectively and with quality? This session will provide tips on earning your employees’ trust while coaching and mentoring them with rewards programs. These key ingredients will help your people evolve; engage in the bigger picture of how important their jobs are, and help you to develop trust from your team ultimately driving quality results.

SESSION C – Insights on Closing the Sale: Maximizing Effectiveness in the Retirement Plan Market

Jeff Petersen, Vice President, Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc.

Retirement plan opportunities are highly competitive and generally involve a lengthy sales process. Valuable sales strategies, built with an understanding of what factors drive plan sponsor decisions, are critical to staying ahead of the competition. This presentation reviews lessons learned from plan sponsor interviews and may help you become more adept at managing plan sponsor prospects and successfully closing new business.

10:00 – 10:30 am Break with Exhibitors –

10:35 – 11:25 am BREAKOUT SESSIONS

SESSION A – Greater Data Transparency to Power Your Distribution Strategy

Frank Polefrone, Vice President, Access Data, a Broadridge company

Please join us to learn how to most efficiently leverage data to meaningfully impact your distribution strategy and provide transparency in the Defined Contribution (DC) space. The amount of data available to Advisors, Recordkeepers, Broker/Dealers and Third-Party Administrators has increased dramatically over the past several years.

Today Americans hold $5.3 trillion in all employer-based DC retirement plans, of which $3.8 trillion are held in 401(k) plans. If not leveraged efficiently, this ocean of data from many different sources can become a counterproductive tool and hinder strategic and tactical decision making. The decade-plus old problem of delivering timely, vital DC retirement information to firms involved in the distribution of retirement plans is becoming even more critical.

This session will provide a unique perspective on a long-time industry challenge. Frank Polefrone will outline how data transparency will benefit the stakeholders making it possible to process, report and analyze the distribution of retirement plans sold through Financial Intermediaries. Among the specific topics that we will address:

  • Definition of “Advisor Driven” retirement business
  • How to use data to provide greater transparency and quality business intelligence in the DC industry
  • Market segmentation to target Advisors selling defined contribution plan business
  • Benefit to Retirement Recordkeepers, Distributors and Fund Manufacturers

SESSION B – WOW 2.0 FireStarters – Ignite Your Business Through Quality Client Acquisition

John Evans, Executive Director, Janus Labs

Are you satisfied with the trajectory of your business? What should your business look like in five years? With this extension of the hugely successful WOW program, we explore how the deeper, personal relationships you develop with your clients can ignite real and sustainable growth in your business. Discover how WOW can not only create loyal clients, but can also catalyze a team culture that fuels dynamic new client acquisition efforts.

SESSION C – Engaging Gen X and Y in Retirement Planning

Chris Augelli, VP of Product Marketing & Business Development, ADP Retirement Services

Studies show that younger workers, particularly those in Generations X and Y, are aware of the importance of saving for retirement. But, how can companies engage these “digital natives” to join the plan, and invest for retirement? What types of decision-making styles, engagement levels and tools do companies need to deploy to get these generations participating in their plan?

Join us for a deep dive into how Gen X and Y like to receive financial information and conduct business so your company can capitalize on deploying the tools in a manner that helps this group of workers achieve a secure retirement.

11:25 – 11:45 am Break / Check Out

11:45 am – 12:35 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS

SESSION A – #NewRetirement

Donna Ross, President, Retirement Revolution, LLC
Sheri Fitts, President, ShoeFitts Marketing

Introduced in 1978, popularized in the 1980s, unstoppable ever since. The 401(k) plan is here to stay. As it has become a primary component of retirement planning, the plans have changed and adapted to meet the challenge. Yet the systems we use to administer them, communicate them, and otherwise help people take advantage of them are showing signs of wear. So we repair, patch and make do.

Is this patchwork approach good enough? Or is it time to entirely re-think the way we work with these vital plans – and the way they serve us?

Join Donna Ross and Sheri Fitts for a fresh look at a seasoned retirement strategy. Donna brings an operational viewpoint, suggesting that record keeping and investment management techniques are failing to meet the needs of today’s plans and are in need of a from-the-ground-up change. At the same time, Sheri advocates a complete rebranding of these plans; namely, is the 401(k) plan a consumer product, or a savings vehicle? She suggests re-examining everything from the name to communication strategy, incorporating a more personal approach right at the intersection of social media, mobile technology and education. Donna and Sheri advocate a Phoenix-rising approach to transforming the current 401(k) system: tear down what isn’t working and build from scratch something that does. We hope you can join us for this engaging presentation, designed to make you think about the 401(k) plan in a new way.

SESSION B – Best-In-Class for the Online Participant Experience — A Competitive Analysis

Michael Ellison, President, Corporate Insight, Inc.
James McGovern, Vice President, Corporate Insight, Inc.

The digital experience for plan participants has come a long way. This session will analyze how the customer experience has developed over the last several years as well as define key areas of focus for the future. We will show how we break down the online experience into key attributes and incorporate participant preferences in order to understand what it would take to create a best in class experience.